MPs: CNI Attacks Are UK's Biggest Cyber-Threat

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Attacks on critical infrastructure (CNI) represent the biggest cybersecurity threat facing the UK, according to nearly two-thirds of MPs.

NCC Group polled a representative sample of 100 MPs from all main political parties and found 62% believed compromise of key sectors including transport and utilities to be the biggest risk to the country.

Although all parties agreed on this, they were divided in their views on other threats.

Over two-fifths (42%) of Conservatives claimed a compromise of nuclear capabilities to be one of the top two threats, versus just 14% of Labour MPs. On the other hand, 44% of Labour MPs considered democratic interference to be a major threat, compared to only 16% of Conservative MPs.

On a positive note, MPs do seem to appreciate the consequences of poor cybersecurity. Three-quarters (75%) claimed to be concerned that a breach of their personal email could negatively affect the cybersecurity of the House of Commons, while 73% said that their constituents’ privacy would be the biggest concern emanating from such a threat.

NCC Group’s global CTO, Ollie Whitehouse, welcomed the seemingly high levels of awareness of cyber-issues among MPs.

“In recent years, the government has been proactive in implementing initiatives to strengthen the UK’s stance against evolving technical and geopolitical threats which attempt to compromise the integrity of our nation,” he added. “MPs play a significant role in these initiatives, so it’s important to maintain continued education around modern threats and informed dialogue amongst all stakeholders. This will ensure that parliamentary staff at all levels understand the steps they need to take, in both their professional and personal lives, in order to address cyber-risk head on.”

However, in a keynote speech at Infosecurity Europe earlier this month, parliamentarian and dotcom pioneer Martha Lane Fox argued that politicians are dangerously ignorant when it comes to understanding technology.

“We need to upskill our legislators dramatically if we’re going to cope with the challenges of the coming years,” she said. “We are very far away from having policymakers equipped to deal with the scale of the challenge.”

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